So the season of Lent is complete and the season of Easter has begun. Normally Easter coincides with Spring, but with Easter earlier than typical and Spring deferred (at least we in Britain hope it is deferred and not cancelled) the gap between Easter and Spring seems vast this year.
Easter is a time for joy and celebration. It is a festival which celebrates life overcoming death, light banishing darkness, and the possibility of resurrection. When one is celebrating it is perhaps to be expected that there be some dressing up.
Traditionally, Easter is a time for feasting, after the self-denial of Lent. In my case, having given given up suits and ties for Lent I was ready for a bit of dressing up for Easter.
You might anticipate that having given up suits and ties for Lent, I might have had a particular suit and tie in mind to wear at the beginning of Easter. Indeed, a friend who was aware of my particular version of ‘Lenten fasting’ asked precisely that question. Regrettably, I wasn’t as creative as that. I simply went for one of my favourites, a great fitting navy suit.
So what have I learned over the period of Lent? A number of things. First, that I am a big fan of suits. Not only are they smart, in many contexts they are also the default option for the smartly dressed man. So I’ve had to learn ways of working round that default option on a number of occasions. A smart blazer can cover a multitude of sins.
Second, I have also learned how conservative suits can be. Whilst not wearing suits I was able to explore a range of coloured chinos in green, wine, rust, and plum. These are colours that would be, for me at least, off limits for a suit.
Third, whilst exploring that range of colours I discovered a whole range of combinations that I had not previously. Suits tend to be within a relatively narrow range of colours so one knows what to wear with them. However, when exploring a wider range of colours I had to learn how to wear them. What to wear with wine trousers? Try grey or blue. How about green trousers? Try pink, navy or purple. Plum chinos? Try lilac, pale green or grey.
Fourth, I discovered how versatile a tie can be to liven up a conservative suit or to link apparently unrelated ensemble colours. I missed them far more than I anticipated during Lent.
In the end this is, in part, the point of the exercise of a Lenten fast. To enable us better to appreciate who we are and all that we have be blessed to receive.